Tax cuts Quebecers will lose

Tax cuts: Quebecers will lose

We, 53 economists and public finance analysts, believe that the government of Quebec’s proposal to reduce the personal income tax by approximately $2 billion is inappropriate, unfair and counterproductive.

Instead, to face the various crises currently rocking public services and to accelerate our ecological transition, the state must conserve the financial resources at its disposal. These objectives, which guarantee individual and collective well-being, must take precedence over reducing tax contributions.

Treasury Secretary Eric Girard has repeatedly reiterated his intention to cut the tax rate for the first two tiers of the tax scale (15% and 20%) by one percentage point to 14% and 19% respectively. For taxpayers, the average tax cut is $300. For taxpayers making $100,000 or more, it can reach $810.

2 billion less in the coffers

With the cost of living rising, such a tax cut might seem attractive. The flip side of such a measure, however, is draining $2 billion a year from the state coffers, a sum that the government could use to invest more in public services, particularly health and education. The needs are evident: solving the constant crises that arise in emergency departments and in community organizations; Improving access to mental health care, meeting the needs of students in difficulty, creating places in childcare services, ensuring quality care for the elderly; Make the necessary investments that are long overdue to accelerate the ecological transition. These are the collective priorities we should set.

Comparison with Ontario

To justify its proposal, the government claims that the tax contribution from the people of Quebec exceeds that observed in Ontario. This comparison seems to us quite incomplete. In fact, with this parallelization we omit the consideration of other essential components of taxation. On the one hand, and this is a well-documented fact, Quebec is much more generous than Ontario when it comes to supporting families.

On the other hand, Ontario’s tariffs are generally higher: hydroelectric ($750 more per year), daycare ($500 more), college tuition ($4,500 more), auto insurance ($800 more), etc A large part of the population will lose out if private insurance has to be compensated.

Finally, given the current economic uncertainty caused by the Bank of Canada’s very vigorous response to contain inflation, it seems unwise to forgo such large fiscal margins.

In short, given the challenges Quebec is facing today, given the urgency to build a more ecological society and to consolidate public services, it seems inappropriate to us to reduce the government’s intervention and redistribution capacities.

The text was signed by 53 economists and public finance analysts*

*List of signers

Yves-Marie Abraham, Professor, HEC Montreal; François Aubry, economist; Pierre Beaulne, economist; François Bélanger, economist, CSN; Vanessa Bevilacqua, Research Advisor; Érik Bouchard-Boulianne, Economist, CSQ; Pierre-Alexandre Caron, Economist, SFPQ; Lise Côté, economist, FTQ; Jean Dalcé, economist, CSN; Alain Deneault, professor and essayist; Anyck Dauphin, Professor, UQO; François Desrochers, Economist, APTS; Jérôme Dupras, Professor, UQO; Francis Fortier, Research Advisor, CSD; Jean-François Gauthier, Professor, HEC Montreal; Antoine Genest-Grégoire, economist; Renaud Gignac, economist; Louis Gill, retired professor, UQAM; Frédéric Hanin, Professor, University of Laval; Pierre-Antoine Harvey, Economist, CSQ; Philippe Hurteau, economist, APTS; Olivier Jacques, Professor, University of Montreal; Mario Jodoin, economist; Vivian Labrie, researcher; Julien Laflamme, economist, CSN; Marie Langevin, Professor, UQAM; Raphaël Langevin, economist; Robert Laplante, Economist, IREC; Marc Lavoie, Professor Emeritus, University of Ottawa; Louise Lavoie, Economics Lecturer, UQAM; Joëlle Leclaire, Professor, SUNY Buffalo State University; Marie-Hélène Legault, Lecturer in Economics, UQAM; Samuel-Elie Lesage, Research Advisor, CSD; Julien Mc Donald-Guimond, economist; Sylvie Morel, Associate Professor, University of Laval; Keith Newman, economist; Minh Nguyen, economist; Normand Pépin, sociologist; Mathieu Perron-Dufour, Professor, UQO; Eric Pineault, Professor, UQAM; André Jr. Robichaud, teacher, Cégep de Victoriaville; Louis-Philippe Rochon, Professor, Laurentian University; Ruth Rose-Lizée, Associate Professor, UQAM; Jean Philippe Roy; Innovation Advisor, Quebec Innovation Council; Gabriel Salathé-Beaulieu, economist; Mario Seccareccia, Professor Emeritus, University of Ottawa; Lee Soderstrom, Associate Professor, McGill University; Martin St-Denis, Economist, Coop Interface; Pierre-Guy Sylvestre, Economist, CUPE; Diane-Gabrielle Tremblay, Professor, TELUQ University; Simon Tremblay-Pepin, Professor, University of Saint Paul; Vincent Van Schendel, economist; Nicolas Zorn, President, LAB Impact